We love Stephan Jenkins, despite his “reputation”, mostly because the man is responsible for some of the greatest alt-rock songs of the ’90s. But we also love Third Eye Blind’s early years as a whole, especially when it pertains to the San Francisco band’s breakout 1997 self-titled debut album, a motherfucking beast of a record that spawned singles like “Semi-Charmed Life,” “How’s It Going to Be,” and “Losing a Whole Year.”
And original guitarist Kevin Cadogan was crucial to the sound and tone of that record.
This summer, Jenkins is on the road celebrating the 20th anniversary of their debut LP under the Third Eye Blind moniker, and they play the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion on June 21. But it’s Jenkins and a cast of relative newcomers to the band, all joining up after 2010 or so with the exception of longtime drummer Brad Hargreaves.
Tonight, however, Cadogan is in town with XEB, a crew of original and former members of Third Eye Blind — including bassist Arion Salazar and Cadogan’s 2000 replacement, guitarist Tony Fredianelli — for an intimate gig at the Rockwell in Davis Square, Somerville.
It’s the Third Eye Blind we all knew when CDs were still a thing, playing that classic debut album… just, you know, without Jenkins, who in recent years has feuded with his former bandmates.
“With XEB the focus is not just on one person,” a shade-tossing Cadogan tells Do617. “We are a band. We stand together at the front of the stage and interact with the crowd and each other in a way that you don’t see with other acts comprised of hired hands. The audience can tell that they are seeing the creators of the music when they come to our shows. The passion is real because that music comes from our DNA.”
In case you’re wondering about that Jenkins-sized hole up front, XEB have filled it with Fredianelli taking the lead. And hey, it sounds pretty good.
Just like it did back in 1997. Do do do, doot do doot do…